But this fall, in what would be considered a minor task but a major success for a financially strapped federal program, crews cleaned up a few tons of junk, contaminated soil and even an asbestos-laden stove from a site near Echo Lake on Mount Evans.
"It was a real win-win in terms of having all the agencies agree to it ... and getting it cleaned up," said Ed LaRock, an environmental protection specialist for the state Department of Public Health and Environment.
The site was a dump for the Buckley Field Arctic Training Center, a short-lived camp set up in the early 1940s to give high-elevation winter experiences to soldiers and members of the Army Air Corps.
"This was more of a nuisance and an eyesore. But it's nice to close out some of the simple ones and get them off the books," LaRock said. Few people knew about the dump on Mount Evans, which was hidden by a stand of pines and which mostly consisted of piles of rusty old cans, bottles and other garbage left behind from a PX and the mess tent.